Ginger is probably best known as a digestive aid.It effectiveness in this area is so impressive that if this was ginger’s only virtue, it would be worth its weight in gold on this point alone.However the list of both, medicinal and culinary benefits of this unassuming plant are incredible.
It is estimated that 80% of persons over the age of fifty suffer from osteoarthritis.6Amazingly more than 100 different diseases are grouped under the designation of arthritis.7Though these all have a different title, they all have one thing in common, inflammation.This is precisely where ginger shines.Ginger is a stimulant and anti inflammatory herb.
Numerous studies have been performed comparing ginger to aspirin for pain relief.Not only did ginger require a smaller dosage for the same pain relief accomplishment; unlike its counterpart, it did the job with no side effects.8
Many physicians also recommend a daily intake of aspirin to check clogged arteries and reduce the number of potentially fatal situations as a result of this problem.Clogged arteries are the cause of more than one-half of all deaths in the United States annually.When there is an excess of platelet-generated thromboxanes there is an increase in blood viscosity and aggregation leading to potentially lethal clotting.Is aspirin the best answer to this common life threatening phenomenon?Looking at the measure of total mortality rate will help us determine aspirin’s true effectiveness.Some of the largest studies have shown that regular aspirin consumers suffer a higher mortality rate, experience more bleeding ulcers, joint discomfort and a potentially compromised immune system increase.9
An outpatient cardiology clinic in an Israeli hospital now encourages all of their patients to take one-half teaspoon of ginger daily.This is because ginger inhibits the same blood thickening enzyme as aspirin and does this naturally without the side effect of aspirin.This “wonder drug” herb has an additional benefit to the circulatory system and is remarkable, even transcending the potential of many modern cardiovascular drugs.With heart disease the #1 killer in America, is it any wonder that ginger is growing in popularity?
A group of Cornell Medical school researchers published an article in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1980 confirmed that ginger completely inhibited the potentially life-threatening process of platelet aggregation.10Because of ginger’s many constituents, it offers synergistic cardiovascular features producing antioxidant effects which include strengthening themuscle and lowering serum cholesterol.11 Ginger, in fact, actually decreases or interferes with cholesterol biosynthesis.12
Additionally, ginger may boast of having ulcer preventing properties.At least six anti-ulcer constituents from ginger have been isolated and identified.13 It is nothing short of mind boggling how ginger can treat two opposites and balance the system.Ginger protects while stimulating, treats constipation and diarrhea while relieving nausea, inhibits toxic bacteria while promoting friendly species of bacteria.All of the above, once more, with no side effects!
Ginger has an ancient reputation as a carrier herb enhancing the absorption of other herbs. You are what you eat is an old adage, but are you what you eat or what you absorb?
Dr. Christopher said, “Ginger is generally combined with herbs going into the abdominal area, because it is a carrier.Ginger is an herb which accentuates so many herbs.”
Environmental exposure is believed to be responsible for as many as 80% of all cancers.14Ginger contains at least two other properties that could positively influence the outcome of the patient’s cancer; stimulation of immunity and inhibition of platelet aggregation.Studies in Montreal and Tokyo in1955 and 1979 concluded that ginger does indeed enhance immunity.15
Of particular note to diabetics is ginger’s ability to regulate blood sugar16 and increase circulation.17 The increase in circulation is also a boon to the reproductive system.Researchers have concluded there is a significant increase in the sperm motility (swimming ability) and sperm content associated with ginger consumption.18As a result of this, ginger has long been prized for its ability to increase fertility.
Amazingly, among industrialized nations, we place close to the lowest in life expectancy (fifteenth) and highest in all cancer and heart disease rates.This should be a flashing red flag to us that our health care system is drastically wrong – not to mention a bad investment.
“We don’t know what we’re doing in medicine.Perhaps one-quarter to one-third of medical services may be of little or no benefit to patients.”19
“The scientific basis of medicine is much weaker than most patients or even physicians realize; this leads to treatment based on uncertainty.”20
6. Murray, M., and Pizzorno, J. Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine. Rocklin, Calif.: Pima Publishing, 1991,447.
7. Beasley, J. D., and Swift, J.J. The Kellogg Report.The Impact of Nutition, Environment & Lifestyle on the Health of Americans.Institute of Health Policy, Bard College, Annandale on Hudson, New York, 1989, 7G:353.
8. GINGER Common Spice & Wonder Drug 3rd edition, Chart page 64
9. The Aspirin Myocardial Infarction Study Research Group. “The aspirin myocardial infarction study: Final results.” Circulation 62 (6, Pt 2.)(Dec. 1980): V79-84
10. Dorso, C., et al. “Chinese food and platelets.” New England Journal of Medicine 303, no. 13 (1980): 756-57
11. Govindarajan, V.S. “Ginger-Chemistry, technology, and quality evaluation: Part 2.” Critical Reviews in Food Scienceoan Nutrition 17, no. 3 (1982): 189-258 (p. 230), citing Gujral, S., et al. “Effect of Ginger (Zingiber officinale
roscoe) oleoresinon serum and hepatic cholesteros levels in cholesterol-fed rats.”Nutrition Reports International 17, no. 2 (1978):
12. Sambaiah, K., and Srinivasan, K. Die Nahrung 1 (1991): 47-51
13. Shiba, M., et al. “Antiulcer furanogermenone extraction from ginger.” Chemical Abstracts 196, no. 6 (1987)b. Yamahara, J., Hatakeyama, S., Taniguchi, K.m kawamura, M., and Yoshikawa, M.“Stomachic principles in ginger. II..”
Yakugaku Zasshi (Journal of the Pharmaceutical Society of Japan) 112, no. 9 (Sept. 1992): 645-55
14. Ames, B. “Dietary carcinogens and anticarcinogens.” Science 23 (Sept. 19830: 1256-64
15. A. Duke, J. “The joy of ginger.” American Health, May 1988.b. Yamazaki, M.m and Nishimnura, T. “Induction of neutrophil accumulation by vegetable juice.” Bioscience Biotechnology Biochemistry 1 (1992)” 150-151.
16. Mascolo, N., Jain, R., Jain, S. C., and Capasso, F. “Ethnopharmacologic investigation of ginger (Zingiber officinale).” Journal of Ethnopharmacology 27, nos. 1-2 (Nov. 1989): 129-140b. Srivastava, K.C.mand Mustafa, T.
“Pharmacological effects of spices” Eicosanoid modulating activities and their significance in human health.” Bio Medical Reviews (Bulgaria) 2 (1993): 15-29
17.Same as #16
18. Chartpage 70 of GINGER Common Spice & Wonder Drug
19.Dr David Eddy, Director, Duke University Health Policy Research
20.C. Everett Koop, M.D., Former U.S. Surgeon General